Agreed to both points.
Don't get me wrong, I love Mary-Jane (especially the Mary-Jane of the 70's and 80's) and hate what they've done to her character in recent years in the comics, but I think Kirsten Dunst was horrible as Mary-Jane (although it doesn't help that I think she's a terrible actress in general). That being said, I always thought it was important to introduce Gwen first and then move onto Mary-Jane but Raimi completely fucked that up. As I said in my review, I found the retelling of the origin story unnecessary, but since they were there anyways, I am happy they went with Gwen first this time around.
Me too. In the 616 universe Gwen Stacy is my preferred Spider-Man girlfriend. I like how she started as a spoiled daddy;s girl who was slowly being driven nuts because Peter was the one man alive who had no interest and then mellowed into the woman who is arguably the great love of Spider's life.
Don't get me wrong, I think MJ is great but Gwen... I loves me that girl.
Oddly enough... in the Ultimate Comics I prefer Ultimate MJ to Ultimate Gwen and can't stand the Peter/Gwen pairing. It's almost... incestuous.
It looks though like the Peter/Gwen pairing in the ASM movie is like a cross between the 616 Peter/Gwen and the USM Peter/MJ relationships.
I can't wait to see the new movie. But then I'm one of the few who disliked the bulk of Raimi's Spider-Man output.